The Small Business Administration has awarded funding to state-affiliated organizations in Arkansas, Maryland and South Dakota to provide training, counseling, remediation and other tailored cybersecurity services to small businesses.
Three states are getting funding from the Small Business Administration to help improve the cybersecurity infrastructure of small businesses during their formative and most vulnerable years.
As part of the SBA’s Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program, Arkansas’ Forge Institute, Maryland’s Department of Commerce and Dakota State University in South Dakota are each receiving nearly $1 million to help new businesses protect their operations through training, counseling, remediation and other tailored cybersecurity services.
According to a recent SBA survey, 88% of small business owners felt their business was vulnerable to a cyberattack. Yet many say they can’t afford professional IT solutions, have limited time to devote to cybersecurity, or they don’t know where to begin, officials said.
The Forge Institute said the funding would allow the newly launched Arkansas Cyber Defense Center to expand critical cybersecurity services to small businesses through an awareness campaign and training for small businesses on how to develop and use the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Cybersecurity Incident Response Playbook. It also plans to provide companies with an overview on legal agreements and privacy statements and with training on how to interact with law enforcement. ACDC said it will also conduct 260 assessments for at least 130 small businesses in the first year.
The Maryland Department of Commerce will use the grant for training, counseling, remediation and other tailored cybersecurity services to small businesses across the state. “Maryland’s small business community is a core driver of our state’s economy, and we need to do everything we can to help them succeed,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen said in a statement. “This investment is going to help protect Maryland small businesses’ most important assets: their employees and customers.”
Dakota State University plans to leverage the DSU faculty and staff’s research to help meet the cybersecurity needs of the state’s small businesses. “This is the goal of our Madison Cyber Labs, to be a hub for research, development and economic opportunity,” DSU President José-Marie Griffiths said.
“This pilot program catalyzes our efforts to help small businesses combat cybersecurity threats,” said Mark Madrid, SBA associate administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development. “These grants empower state governments to innovate, develop new resources, and scale solutions to protect more small businesses from harmful cyberattacks.”